Steelers 2017 Week 16 Offensive Charting Notes

The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off the first of what they hope is another long string of victories after seeing their decade-best eight-game winning streak snapped by Al Riveron and the New England Patriots. But the Houston Texans were, quite frankly, a much easier task, and it didn’t hurt that they had their top two quarterbacks on injured reserve.

  • Personnel groupings:
    • 11: 33/61 (54.1%)
    • 12: 11/61 (18%)
    • 13: 1/61 (1.6%)
    • 21: 4/61 (6.6%)
    • 22: 8/61 (13.1%)
    • 23: 1/61 (1.6%)
    • V-32: 3/61 (4.9%)
  • With health at tight end and injury at wide receiver, the Steelers were much more balanced in their personnel usage than they often are, using 11 personnel not much more than half the time. In fact, there are not many personnel groupings that they failed to use, though they’ve abandoned the four-receiver set for whatever reason.
  • With James Conner on injured reserve, the Steelers brought in Stevan Ridley, and they used him as their number two back. He logged 10 snaps, though most of that came toward the end of the blowout, with Le’Veon Bell on the sideline.
  • Backup Landry Jones threw his first pass of the season, incomplete.
  • It’s interesting to note that as the game progressed, the team gave Vance McDonald more time off, and took him out entirely with the other pulled starters. Of course his injury history is a part of that, but he was outsnapping Jesse James when his playing time ended.
  • For the first time all season, and frankly the first time that I can recall, the Steelers used a tackle-eligible as the only tight end on the field for two snaps, that being Chris Hubbard. He took 11 snaps as a tackle-eligible in all before taking over at left tackle.
  • Play action played a small part in Monday’s game, as it typically does. Just four of 31 dropbacks saw the use of play action. Two passes were incomplete, but one drew a penalty. The other two were completed for a combined 16 yards.
  • The Texans use an inside linebacker as a roving piece that can also be an outside linebacker, so determining what to describe as blitzes was a bit complicated, but I have Houston blitzing a fair bit, 12 times in all, or not far from a third of the time. Five of those were four-man blitzes, though they rushed six three times. One of those six-man rushes was the Jadeveon Clowney face-mask that negated a sack.
  • Excluding that play, the Steelers averaged 9.5 yards per pass against the blitz, including a 49-yard reception, though the Texans also forced two incompletions on third down and stopped another third-down pass from converting.
  • Average depth of target – 7.1 (31 targets; 30 official)
    • Vance McDonald – 5 (5 targets)
    • Jesse James – 16 (1 target)
    • Le’Veon Bell – .5 (8 targets)
    • JuJu SmithSchuster – 9.1 (7 targets)
    • Eli Rogers – 9 (5 targets; 4 official)
    • Justin Hunter – 5 (1 target)
    • Martavis Bryant – 15.5 (4 targets)
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